Getting hooked back in . . .

The weather’s cooling down, and that usually means a renewed interest in yarn-based arts. Specifically, crochet.

I’ve talked about my crochet interest before, but let it fall by the wayside as the weather warmed up. It’s hard to want to crochet when it’s so hot. And other stuff happened, occupying my attention and kicking me out of a “do something fun for myself” mood.

That big project I talked about last year never did get finished—it was just too ambitious for the amount of time I had. I’m still working on it now, in between other things. I did get some smaller projects done, mostly some amigurumi stuff for the kids.

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My son wanted a Kirby.

Amigurumi is essentially the Japanese term for crocheting or knitting cute, small animals or figures. You’ve no doubt seen them in your various travels about the ‘Net. You can find patterns for practically anything, from food to animals to people. They can create some pretty adorable things.

For the most part, you really only need to know a few stitches, and things take shape fairly quickly. There are a few things I’ve had problems with, however:

Stitch Counts

 

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The way amigurumi projects form is through careful layout and combination of stitches. If you’ve miscounted or skipped a stitch or two, it can throw off the whole thing, and you have to essentially start over. This is problematic in ANY crochet or knit project, but can be especially troublesome in amigurumi. I’ve had to restart more than a few pieces, and it’s frustrating. All that time, all that work, for nothing. (I had to rip out one piece of my big project twice because it wasn’t turning out the way it was supposed to. I literally cried in frustration. It was painful to lose hours of work.)

I’ve taken to rewriting the pattern in a notebook, and crossing off stitches as I do them. It helps keep me organized, and I know where I am when I’m inevitably interrupted by the kids or husband in the middle of a row.

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Joining

In most amigurumi pieces, you crochet parts separately and then sew them together. I have a hard time with this—limbs tend to be crooked, ears lopsided, and the stitches messy. Okay for purposely misshapen monsters and other oddball creatures, not so much for cats and horses.

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Kinda lopsided, crooked, and awkward. But the kids liked them.

Stuffing

Oh my Lord, stuffing. There’s a fine line between stuffing it “firmly” and shoving so much into it the stitches stretch and it looks terrible. I’m trying to find a balance between choosing the right sized hook to make nice tight stitches, and putting just the right amount of stuffing in it to give it a nice shape. Stuffing is truly an art.

Finishing Details

In most amigurumi projects, there are finishing touches to complete the piece—adding eye lashes or a mouth with embroidery floss, gluing felt to add eyes, etc. I fail so hard at these, which is surprising, considering how detail-oriented I am usually. I think I’m just so ready to be done with the thing I don’t want to deal with that often time-consuming stuff.

My Little Pony has been a long-standing interest in this house, and I’ve got patterns for a number of them. I’m currently working on Maud Pie, and the big project from last Christmas is a HUGE Luna. (I totally overestimated my skills at the time. TOTALLY. Maybe she’ll get done by this Christmas.) I also may or may not make myself an Applejack and Big Mac. (I will.) I haven’t decided yet. (Yes I have. Don’t judge me!)

Right now I’ve been kind of on a yarn buying kick. My stash is building, and quickly outgrowing the space I have available to store it. I have no specific projects in mind for half of it, but darnit if I wasn’t drawn to the color or texture!

In other news, I’ve been trying to be more positive and release the negativity and stress that I let pile up. I had way too much darkness and sadness pulling me down, and have decided to try to let it go and live in a more present, open way. I’ve started another blog, My Past Is Not Today, to focus more on the philosophical and emotionally healing side of me. Check it out if you like.

Anyway, I may post some pics once I finish some of these projects. Or not. We’ll see how I feel on a particular day.

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